With only three weekday rush hour trains each direction, this is Metra's most minor operation. But because those trains share the Joliet station with the Rock Island District trains, it is possible to ride an afternoon train to Joliet and return on a Rock Island District train. The Heritage Corridor trains use the Canadian National (former Gulf Mobile & Ohio, later Illinois Central Gulf) main line to St. Louis, which is also used by Amtrak trains. This line was originally the Joliet & Chicago Railroad, which from 1864 to 1947 was leased by the Chicago & Alton Railroad. South of Joliet, trackage eventually became owned by Southern Pacific, now Union Pacific. Between the Chicago River crossing and Brighton Park, CTA's Orange Line parallels this line. The most significant suburbs along this route are Lemont and Lockport, but these are not typical "bedroom communities" whose main function is to serve as residential areas for people working in the big city. Instead they are more like individual small towns with their own economies and industries. The Des Plaines River and other waterways in the area enabled industries to develop there early on, including an oil refinery. Freight action along the route is moderate.
Radio Frequency - 160.920 (AAR Channel 54)
Radio Frequency - 160.305 (AAR Channel 13) (Chicago Union Station)
Direction is southward from Chicago to Joliet
1.8 21st Street (crossing-Amtrak/remote-Amtrak Train Director)
2.6 21st Street (crossing-Amtrak/remote-Amtrak Train Director)
2.7 Cermak (junction-Amtrak)
4.4 Bridgeport (junction-CN)
3.5 Bridgeport (junction-CN)
5.1 CP Brighton (crossing-CSX/NS-remote-NS-Ashland Avenue Yard)
5.5 Park Yard
6.6 Corwith (crossing-remote-BNSF dispatcher)
7.9 Lemoyne (crossing-remote-BRC dispatcher)
9.5 #45 Crossover
10.3 Glenn Yard
11.3 #47 Crossover
13.1 CP Canal (crossing-remote-IHB dispatcher)
17.5 WILLOW SPRINGS
36.6 Ohio St.
36.7 Jackson St.
37.3 UD Tower (tower-Metra)
38.9 South Joliet
Between 21st Street and Bridgeport, Joliet Subdivision abandoned, with trains operating over CN Freeport Subdivision.
2 tracks from 21st Street to Joliet, CTC in use, controlled by Dispatcher Desk #1 in Homewood.
South of Jackson St., trackage operated by Union Pacific Railroad.
Speed Limit: 79 mph
(Click for diagram of Chicago Union Station.)
Classic Track Diagrams
Track diagram as the line existed around 1975. CTC was installed between Chicago and Joliet around 2000.